forest redbud pansy

extremez(4)June 12, 2014

We're into the 2nd week of June in Upstate NY, Glens Falls area.

I'm concerned about my redbud. I planted it about 6-7 years ago. I haven't done anything with it because I was told it was basically a maintenance free tree.

This year it hasn't done a thing. No bloom, no leaves, nothing!

Is it dead? The buds feel crumbly and just pull off. I peeled back some bark on a limb and it's not green but not greyish or dead looking. If it is dead and I have to cut her down, do I need to remove the entire root system before planting a new tree?

Suggestions for a new tree? It needs to flower and have color through the year. I think that's why I ended up with the redbud for the purplish leaves after the bloom.

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It sounds like the winter may have gotten it! My Redbud had a lot of die back this year and I cut it down. The roots on those trees are very deep so it will be hard to dig up if you want to replace in the same exact spot. I would dig a new hold about 3ft from where the Redbud was if you replace.

I would look at the Newport Plum tree or other purple leaf varieties. .. they flower very early in the Spring and have purple leaves for most of the season. Should be available in your area as well.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:34AM
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Forest Pansy is a beautiful redbud selection, but sooner or later it seems to encounter a colder than normal winter and dies. The truth is, imho, that redbuds are not well-adapted to life outside their native range. They need hot summers to ripen their wood and, in my experience, tend to keep growing too late into the fall so they have a lot of vulnerable wood for the winter. The so-called Minnnesota strain of redbuds is very winter hardy, but they, too, need hot summer weather to ripen their wood and do not have Forest Pansy's purple leaves.

Your tree is likely to sprout from the roots, but Forest Pansy is usually budded or grafted onto ordinary redbud understock. Probably best to move the new tree site a little as longtee81 suggests rather than attempt to remove the old roots.

There are purple leaved plums, but like all prunus, they are magnets for a wide range of pests and diseases, especially in the East. Google Variegated Foliage Nursery in CT for a large selection and ideas if not purchase.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 5:55AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Redbuds of any type really are not suited for zone 4.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 6:39AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

The only redbuds safe in zone 4 are the Univ. of MN strain, realistically. The northernmost parts of the redbuds range are really zone 5 in parts of MI, Ontario, Iowa, and Ohio (if you use the old USDA map). I'm not even sure if the MN strain is actually MN native or just something that was bred by selection over time in Minnesota winters to pull out the hardiest of the hardiest.

Forest Pansy, and most of the cultivars, often come from more southern selections and are even less hardy - probably zone 6 at best. 'Appalachian Red' is probably OK to zone 5, but not 4. 'Columbus Hardy' (from Ohio, as you'd expect with the name) is also zone 5, maybe 4B from what I've seen. The other cultivars are all probably 5B-6A.

If you're in zone 4, I'd stick with the MN strain. Zone 5, I'd stick with MN strain plus seedgrown from northern sources and Columbus Hardy.

Zone 6-9 any of them should do well, but in z9 you might not get enough winter chill for the northern strains so I'd use a southern seed source.

They pretty much all do fine here in Maryland, zone 7.

This post was edited by hairmetal4ever on Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 12:10

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:31AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

When in doubt, grow your own. Sheffield's Seed Company has a couple lots of "Northern" redbud seed (one is a zone 5 rating and from Illinois), and although getting them to sprout can be tricky due to the hard seedcoat, it's my understanding that, as long as you get them to germinate, they grow rather easily and bloom in a few years from seed.

I may try some next year.

Or Ken may chime in - he gets them wild all over his yard in MI. Maybe you can show up at his house with a shovel...haha.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:15PM
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Well, I cut her down today. Hated doing it but had to accept it. I'm going to the nursery tomorrow to look for another. I figured there would have been a bigger root system to it. But a nice little yank from the truck and chain finished it off.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:12PM
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